Robert Didn't Let Cerebral Palsy Stop Him From Seeing the Positive Side of Life
Updated: Oct 17, 2019
Toward Maximum Independence (TMI) said a sad final farewell to our client and friend of 28 years, Robert “Foxy Fox” Fox on August 4, 2019. Robert, who had cerebral palsy, was one of a kind and will be remembered as a positive force of love with a giving nature, an infectious mischievous smile and a spirit for adventure. Robert was always willing to lend a helping hand and a listening ear to whoever needed it. His sweet nature and big personality made him a popular staple in his Hillcrest community, as well as at the Cheesecake Factory where he worked for 15 years.
“Every time I saw Robert after a work day and I asked him how his day went, he would reply ‘cheesy’ with a big smile and chuckle,” said TMI Case Manager Shantel Rhode.
When you were with Robert, you were with someone who was known and loved by everyone. You also didn’t want to challenge him because he was a fierce advocate for himself and the ones he loved.
“Family doesn’t mean by blood only, myself and his five chosen family members shared tears, laughter, memories and love,” added Shantel. “Family are the people that choose to show up every day and night, support you, care for you, listen to you, advocate for you and never give up on you. He chose us and we chose him. We were his family. I am grateful for the lessons he taught me, the laughs he gave and the loved he showed me. I am incredibly proud that he chose me and I am honored to have a team that surrounded him with so much love and respect up until his very last breath. He was a man of passion and was fiercely protective of those he loved and what he believed in. I loved that about him.”
On any given day you could find Robert at his local Starbucks chatting with just about anyone and sharing laughs along the way. He was always up for an adventure, whether it was to see a play, concert, rolling around Ocean Beach for some good people watching or checking out Balboa Park. He just loved exploring all that San Diego has to offer.
“Robert was always so positive and had so much love to give,” said TMI Facilitator Julissa Vigil. “He loved helping anyone and was always up for a good adventure.”
TMI Supported Living staff provided 24 hour care to Robert to help him in his day to day life to maintain a positive, healthy quality of life in his own home and community.
“I will always remember Fox for his ‘let’s do it' positive attitude,” said TMI Facilitator Jasmine Andrews.
Robert smiled and persevered even on his tough days. We can all take a page from his story to remember to see the positive in life and keep going. You will be greatly missed, Robert. May you rest in peace.
There are 17 million people across the world living with cerebral palsy (CP). Another 350 million people are closely connected to a child or adult with CP. It is the most common physical disability in childhood. CP is a permanent disability that affects movement. Its impact can range from a weakness in one hand, to almost a complete lack of voluntary movement.
It is a complex disability:
1 in 4 children with CP cannot talk
1 in 4 cannot walk
1 in 2 have an intellectual disability
1 in 4 have epilepsy.
(excerpted from worldcpday.org)
Toward Maximum Independence (TMI) has been transforming the lives of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities since 1981 and the deaf and hard of hearing since 2000. TMI strives to help our clients to realize their hopes and dreams by providing Employment Solutions, Community Living and Family Support Services throughout San Diego, Riverside and Imperial Counties. To stay connected with us follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Together we can share acceptance and awareness, ultimately contributing to further inclusion.